In Which I Consider Poldark

As an American, I’m legally obligated to run on a treadmill. It’s the law. After finding myself in the midst of Droughtlander (Between seasons one and two) and with no available movies involving:
Space Travel
Redheads travelling in space with dinosaurs,

I was forced to spread my net wider. 

I found Poldark, and I’m thrilled. 

It has everything I want in a period drama, as noted below.

Let’s begin with the titular star, a swarthy Irish actor who acts as a masculine counterpoint to everyone except the miners who occasionally grace the screen:

Also, am I the only person who finds his name– Ross– to be sort of “surfer”? It isn’t exactly what I expected for 18th Century Cornwall, but then again, I’ve never been to Cornwall. Maybe everyone there is into skateboarding and the X Games, instead of horrific tin mines and petty political intrigue.

Naturally, there’s a foil. In this case, the weenie in question is a foppish banker with curls that wouldn’t look out of place on an American Girl doll. He’s oily, and underhanded, and apparently only engages in two activities: playing cards and sneering.

George (the weenie) gets advice from a gravelly-voiced Alpha Male type who sounds like he was raised eating asbestos and the dreams of children. He’s a perfect addition to the general douchebaggery of the banking interest as a negative character:

Then, of course, we have the ladies. They are wildly divergent in their look and carriage, but it’s easy to see who fills what role. Hat tip to the actresses, who are, in a word, superb.

We begin with a character who actually cleaves close to the truth of our modern world. Meet Verity, who is supposed to be so plain and bereft of sexual appeal that she’s made it to the age of twenty-five (WHUT?) without being offered the position of babymaker in someone’s home. I find her rather lovely and charismatic, actually. I felt the collective shiver among female viewers when she announced that, at the advanced age of 25, she had few prospects for marriage. Quelle horreur! 

Then, we move on to the central female figure who Russ has crossed an ocean to reclaim. Alas, he was weenie-blocked, but that won’t stop us from enjoying any number of closeup shots of the radiant English Rose, Elizabeth. Without further ado:

Now that’s not to say all of the women are of such fine breeding. May I introduce the surly, curmudgeonly, ill-groomed, wheezing and venal hired help? Beatie Edney (lovely in real life), is the antithesis of– well, soap. And bathing. And not spitting on the floor. Stuff like that.

There’s the requisite prostitute, who has perfect teeth, skin, boobs, ass, and is shockingly free of things like “lice” and “syphilis”.  If her character is even close to an accurate portrayal of Cornish women in the 18th century, then I’d like to personally urge the development of time travel at our nearest possible moment.

We conclude with the ugly duckling, Demelza. I think their casting went sort of like this:

Take beautiful actress.
Rub dirt on her.

It’s an excellent cast, with everything I want in a series. For the first hour, I was concerned that all Russ would be doing was riding his horse back and forth between two locations, but he eventually stopped long enough to do all of that Poldark stuff while gritting his teeth and looking wistfully at the rolling Cornish vistas and/or heaving bosoms of women. My only question: HOW did they find that much sunlight to shoot in? It’s like the South of France, but with powdered wigs and rowdy miners. I’m thrilled that there will be a second season.

I blog about Outlander, too. Check out some past posts while we endure Droughtlander. And if you like fantasy, paranormal, or thrillers, may I suggest my newest release?

Halfway Bitten

We’re giving away audiobooks and paperbacks at 2500 and 3000 twitter followers, respectively– have we connected yet? @TerryMaggert

Until next time, cheers!


Building the Perfect (English) Rose

Sometimes, research can be rather lovely.

I type that in the most reserved terms possible, but only in honor of the proverbial stiff upper lip of the British. I realized that my next character was going to be:

1) British
2) Female
3) Really British
4) Beautiful in a refined way.

With apologies to the rest of the planet/galaxy/universe (in honor of James Joyce, who isn’t British, but was in the vicinity), I stayed close to home, so to speak, and looked at women who were already considered to be the prototypical Rosa Brittania. The results were decidedly elegant and more than a bit surprising. As it turns out, these women were often dark of eye and hair, yet retained some of the qualities that are traditionally associated with British women, such as the tendency to burst into flame under direct sunlight.
For your consideration , here are a few of my finds:

The lovely Jessica Raine. She’ll do.
Did I mention the character is, naturally, partially evil, morally conflicted, immortal, and possesses a high libido? I write the words, so I make the rules. Leave Freud out of this one.
Moving on. How about Kelly Brook, a woman of whom I was unaware. How that happened, I attribute to my diligence at writing and general ignorance about celebrity across the pond.

Which brings me to my last, logical choice. Lady Mary Crawley. Never has prim looked so hot. With that in mind, I find myself cheerfully writing about a reformed blood-drinking murderess and imagining– with every phrase– that she speaks with such precision, it would be impossible to brand her cretinous. Except for the whole eating people over twenty centuries thing. 

  So, that’s the state of affairs this early Sunday morning, as I settle in to write a bit more, edit a bit more, and dream a bit more of finding out that manners– like the immortals– are here for the long haul.

Cheers, Friends!